The Center for Disease Control (CDC) has recommended that consumers discontinue using EzriCare Artificial Tears since this product can pose a significant risk of eye infections and other issues. EzriCare Eye Drops have been linked to a multistate cluster of VIM-GES-CRPA, highly antimicrobial drug-resistant pathogens that can cause severe eye infections.
The CDC issued a statement on January 20, 2023, urging people to discontinue using EzriCare Artificial Tears. The investigation into the issues with these eyedrops and their likely contamination is ongoing. However, the slew of infections caused by this product has endangered many people’s health, finances, and lives.
It is likely a product defect that has led to these illnesses. This potentially puts EzriCare in a situation where they may be considered liable for the damages their product caused and be the target of many product liability lawsuits.
This is a developing story, but the manufacturers may be liable if the eye drops cause people harm. If you used EzriCare artificial tears and developed an eye infection, the defective products attorneys from Hach & Rose, LLP want to hear your story. Contact us at (212) 779-0057 for a free legal consultation.
How Our Defective Product Lawyers Can Help
Suffering an injury after placing your trust in a product can severely disrupt almost every facet of your life, from finances to mental health. The makers of products such as EzriCare Artificial Tears are responsible for providing consumers with a safe product that helps them cure the ailment, not cause them more issues. When a company or manufacturer fails to do so, civil law allows consumers to seek compensation for the damages they suffered through a product liability claim.
Hach & Rose, LLP understands the frustration of these situations and provides their clients with nationally recognized legal representation proven to get results. EzriCare Artificial Tears lawsuits will require a law firm with the experience and resources to ensure that consumer rights are respected, and fair compensation is provided.
If you or a loved one have suffered from an eye infection after using EzriCare Artificial Tears, do not hesitate to contact Hach & Rose, LLP to discuss your possible claim.
Hach & Rose, LLP is headquartered in New York, but our product defect liability attorneys are licensed to practice law in many states. We have taken on some of the biggest corporations in federal, appellate, and state courts throughout the U.S. and Puerto Rico.
What are EzriCare Artificial Tears?
EzriCare Artificial Tears is a product that comes as an eye dropper containing a preservative-free 1% Carboxymethylcellulose Sodium solution. This product is intended to relieve dry and irritated eyes by lubricating the eye.
Since this product involves applying a liquid directly into the eye, it is a disturbingly effective vector for harmful pathogens to enter the body. Because of this, it’s recommended that consumers do not touch the tip of the container to any surface, replace the cap after use, and keep the container tightly closed.
Despite the necessity of this product’s sterility, there has been a cluster of infections resulting from VIM-GES-CRPA linked to the use of this eye drop product. This is likely the result of some defect through design, manufacturing, storage, etc.
EzriCare Artificial Tears and the Eye Infection Outbreak
A breakout of infections catalyzed the recent controversy surrounding EzriCare Artificial Tears.
The multistate cluster specifically involves Carbapenem-resistant Pseudomonas aeruginosa (CRPA) producing the Verona integron‒encoded metallo-β-lactamase (VIM).
This very long medical term is essentially a drug-resistant pathogen responsible for multiple types of infections, including eye infections.
This infection cluster containing 56 isolates from 50 patients was identified by the CDC in partnership with state and local health departments across the following states:
- New Jersey
- New York
- New Mexico
The specimens collected for the cluster’s identification were gathered from May to December 2022. So far, the CDC is still undertaking an investigation and lab analysis of this cluster.
So far, signs point to EzriCare Artificial Tears as the primary culprit for the infections since most patients identified as part of the cluster reported using the product before they got sick.
What Are the Pathogens Involved in the EzriCare Artificial Tears Infections?
So far, the CDC has identified Verona Integron-mediated Metallo-β-lactamase (VIM) and Guiana-Extended Spectrum-β-Lactamase (GES) producing Carbapenem-resistant Pseudomonas aeruginosa (CRPA). This infection cluster is more commonly shortened to VIM-GES-CRPA.
What is Pseudomonas Aeruginosa?
Pseudomonas aeruginosa, also called P. aeruginosa, is a fairly common bacterium characterized by its commonness and resistance to various forms of antibiotic treatment.
This bacteria is found in artificial and natural environments all over the world.
One of the primary settings it infects people through are hospitals and other medical facilities. The bacteria often finds its way to patients through medical devices, usually ventilation devices. The bacteria thrive in damp places. Aside from ventilators, P. aeruginosa can also infect patients through catheters, touch, and standing bodies of water.
In fact, P. aeruginosa is often at the top of the pathogens responsible for hospital infections. It often infects hospital patients through burn injuries, airways, urinary tracts, and wounds.
Pseudomonas Aeruginosa Multidrug Resistance
Pseudomonas aeruginosa is so dangerous because it is resistant to most drugs, making treatment difficult. Since this bacterium can mutate so effectively to resist antibiotics, patients in precarious health situations that are infected are severely compromised.
Verona Integron-mediated Metallo-β-lactamase (VIM) and Guiana-Extended Spectrum-β-Lactamase (GES) producing carbapenem-resistant Pseudomonas aeruginosa (VIM-GES-CRPA) is a type of Pseudomonas aeruginosa that has a specific resistance to antibiotic drugs from the carbapenem family.
VIM and GES are two different enzymes that this specific P. aeruginosa can produce to resist β-lactam antibiotics such as those in the carbapenem family.
This specific strain in the recent outbreak has also demonstrated resistance to other antibiotic drugs.
VIM-GES-CRPA Eye Infections Caused by EzriCare Artificial Tears
The eyes are mucous membranes that are especially susceptible to infection, so there is usually great care taken to appropriately sterilize any medical equipment and products that come into contact with this area. Unfortunately, the situation involving EzriCare Artificial Tears has allowed a dangerous pathogen to reach the eyes and cause infections.
Eye infections are dire since someone’s vision can be at stake. These infections often start at the cornea, the clear front surface of the eye, rapidly moving deeper and threatening the integrity of these delicate organs.
Eye infections are relatively common and are often fought off by the immune system with no additional assistance. But Pseudomonas aeruginosa is a different situation.
Since P. aeruginosa is so resistant to drugs, it is significantly more likely to progress to the point that it does irreparable damage to the eyes.
Some of the patients affected by this cluster have suffered permanent vision loss due to ocular infection, many were hospitalized, and one mortality has been reported where a patient died due to bloodstream infection.
Common Eye Infection Conditions
Carbapenem-resistant Pseudomonas aeruginosa (CRPA) infections in the eye can cause conditions such as-.
- Endophthalmitis: The infection reaches into the eye and can cause blindness
- Keratitis: The infection of the cornea
- Conjunctivitis: infection of the conjunctiva, also known as pink eye
- Cellulitis: infection of the skin around the eye, such as the eyelid
- Dacryocystitis: infection of the tear glands/ducts
Pseudomonas Aeruginosa Eye Infection Symptoms
If you or a loved one display the following symptoms and have used EzriCare Artificial Tears in the past, then you should seek medical attention immediately to get the best chance possible at effectively treating a potentially severe eye infection.
- Red eyes
- Eye pain
- Eye discharge
- Watery eyes
- Dry eyes
- Light sensitivity
- Swollen eyes
- Swelling around the eyes
- Blurry vision
Pseudomonas Aeruginosa Eye Infection Treatment
The severity of these eye infections due to P. aeruginosa often necessitates extensive treatment and care. Treatment of CRPA infections of the eye can include
- Topical and intravenous antibiotics
- Drainage and removal of infected tissue
Since P. aeruginosa can be so multidrug-resistant, antibiotic treatment is limited in its effectiveness. Doctors often have to resort to combinations of antibiotics and less common approaches to treat these infections. As a result, these infections can often progress to the point that they cause severe damage and complications.
Damages Caused by EzriCare Artificial Tears VIM-GES-CRPA Infections
Complications caused by VIM-GES-CRPA eye infections can leave patients with varying degrees of vision loss. The retina can suffer damage, scars, and ulcers, which can form in the cornea and obstruct vision, leading to partial or total blindness.
The eye infection can sometimes even spread to other parts of the body and endanger other organs or a patient’s life.
These issues can have various consequences for those infected with VIM-GES-CRPA from using EzriCare Artificial Tears.
Even those that manage to come away without any sight problems still have to contend with medical bills and lost wages from when they were sick.
In product liability lawsuits, these losses caused by defective products like EzriCare Artificial Tears are considered damages. They can be compensated by filing a claim against the liable parties.
Unsurprisingly, the damages involved in EzriCare Artificial Tear lawsuits will be extensive. These damages can be separated into economic damages and non-economic damages.
Economic damages include financial losses with a clear dollar value, such as medical bills. Non-economic damages consist of losses without a tangible dollar value, such as the emotional pain inflicted by losing one’s eyesight. As you can imagine, both could be extensive in this situation.
Common Product Liability Claim Damages
Some examples of the potential damages in these lawsuits include:
- Medical bills (past and future)
- Hospital Stay
- Doctor visits
- Medical devices
- Lost Income
- Lost wages
- Lost career opportunities
- Pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
- Psychological disorders
- Loss of enjoyment of life
Why You Should Consider Hiring a Product Defect Liability Lawyer
Consumers that have utilized EzriCare Artificial Tears may be entitled to compensation for damages inflicted by infection of VIM-GES-CRPA. Taking legal action through a product defect liability claim against EzriCare may be the best option to get your life back together after facing eye damage, blindness, or other issues caused by these infections.
To take legal action after suffering from a VIM-GES-CRPA infection, you will need more than just the law on your side. A product liability attorney is an essential ally in your efforts to seek compensation for product defect injuries.
Without their experience and resources, the defense lawyers in these situations can take advantage of your ignorance, and you can end up with significantly less compensation than you deserve or even be denied a fair settlement altogether.
Hach & Rose, LLP focuses on maintaining close client relationships while providing diligent and meticulous legal representation. With our firm on your side, you can rest easy knowing that your case is in the hands of a firm whose lawyers contribute over 150 years of combined experience. Additionally, we have the resources to handle a case against such a big corporation and with such complicated science.
Contact Hach & Rose, LLP Product Defect Lawyers
The damages inflicted by VIM-GES-CRPA can be especially severe. After using EzriCare Artificial Tears, those suffering from infections should strongly consider contacting Hach & Rose, LLP about their potential claim.
Our lawyers are ready to sit with you and discuss legal options and what we can do to help you seek fair compensation in this difficult time.